Tag Archives: leadership qualities

You’re the Leader. Where’s Your Focus?

Chris Ruisi Driving Business Growth Podcast

 

 

With help from Jimmy Buffet, Chris explains why living in the past serves no useful purpose. Rather, he shares the importance of maintaining a healthy sense of focus in order to get things done effectively and efficiently.

 

 

 

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Fire Yourself-Chris Ruisi

Fire Yourself!

That’s right, fire yourself! This act will probably be the most important thing you can do for your business and your career. Make sure you do an in-depth exit interview so that you understand completely the reasons for this harsh but necessary action.

Oh! Don’t forget to throw yourself a “going away” party and buy yourself a gift (not too expensive). You will want to take this occasion to tell the boss (you) exactly what you think about them…and what you would do if you were in-charge! And, when you’ve done all of these things, figure out what you need to do and who you have to be to re-hire yourself.

Here’s where you need to tell the boss (that would still be you) what needs to be done. First, what areas or skills does the boss need to enhance or even develop to be able to lead more effectively? Is it leadership, delegation, better communications, etc? Next thing is what should the boss (still you) stop doing or do differently going forward? Continue reading

4 Leadership Traits Chris Ruisi

4 Key Leadership Traits to Drive Business Growth

As the CEO or leader, your primary responsibility is to drive your organization to business growth. It requires not only getting things done, but more importantly, getting the right things done.

To achieve the results required means that your leadership skills will be tested. Here are four concepts to keep in mind as you lead your organization and drive them to achieve business growth. Continue reading

Leadership Chris Ruisi

Leadership: 10 Essential Criteria for Each of Us

Over the course of the last 12 to 18 months we have witnessed an intensified and very comprehensive display of what leadership is not by our elected officials at all levels across all party lines.

Now, I’m not taking sides or interested in a political discussion. Like you, I’m a citizen waiting for the people we elected to, well…do their job for all of us.

However, as a result of this political display of drama, anger and missteps, I thought I would turn it into a simple learning opportunity on what I believe (and have coached clients on) are the criteria we should set for not only our elected officials, but more importantly, for each of us who are leaders within our businesses. Continue reading

Problem Solving Chris Ruisi

Geez! Another Problem to Solve!

The best leaders know that problem solving comes with the territory. In fact, whenever they solve a problem, they earn the right to solve a more difficult one in the future.

Working our way to solve a problem can be like traveling through a maze – with wrong turns and dead ends. However, when the problem is solved we grow (as a leader), from: what we learned from the experience, new skills we developed, and existing skills we enhanced.

All leaders want to be known as being able to solve problems efficiently and effectively. Earning that reputation is directly related to the process you follow from problem identification right through to its correct solution. Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Leadership

Having Fun is a Key Leadership Role

All of us in a leadership position get to carry the brunt of the problems and challenges we face every day. We sometimes cause these problems. And in other cases, we must clean up the mess made by someone else.

In most cases, we serve as the “buffer” between the problems and our teams. Then once we have confronted the problem we have to sift through the emotion and clutter that comes with it to determine what caused it and more importantly how to solve it—while still doing everything else you’re supposed to do!

Working through and managing bad days comes with the territory if you are a leader. But, when the number of those bad days starts to take place on an ever increasing basis and the severity intensifies, you’re then experiencing days that “you don’t want to go to work.”

However, as a good leader you pick yourself up and go to work on those days you really don’t want to be there. You fool yourself into thinking that “it’s what you have to do” but, you’re not having any fun

When you reach this state, it’s time to come to a complete stop and put yourself in time out! You need to give yourself some time to catch your breath and think about what you’re doing versus what you “should” be doing. Why? Because if you don’t stop the madness, you’ll “burn out physically and emotionally, and run yourself and your business into the ground—permanently.

With the possibility of the demise of your business staring you in the face, you should consider taking all of these key steps: Continue reading

Leaders Need to Ask Questions

Not every leader is that smart that they will have the answers to every question that may arise. In fact, I can make a very strong case, with real life examples, that leaders who have all of the answers are probably the greatest threat to their team and their organizations. But, this point will be the subject of a future Wake-Up Call.

Let’s get back to the need for leaders to ask questions. When leaders ask the right questions, they get better responses and information. With better information, they are able to make better decisions, which in turn have a positive impact on their teams and organizations.

Here are 7 key questions that every leader should learn how to ask on a consistent basis in order to achieve their goals:

  1. What’s the “right thing” to do right now for the company?
  2. Based on this “right thing” what is the desired outcome that needs to be achieved?
  3. What are the key tasks related to this “right thing” that need to be acted upon?
  4. Who will be responsible for this?
  5. Do they have what they need to get the job done and achieve the desired outcome?
  6. By when will this “right thing” be completed?
  7. How will we evaluate/measure progress?

Clearly there are more questions a leader can – and should – be asking to measure progress within his or her organization, but these 7 are a great place to start for any leader wishing to raise their performance bar.

 

How Do You Communicate Decisions

Ruisi-iTunes-1

In this podcast, Chris explains the seven steps to turn decisions into a productive reality within your organization. Nothing happens until a decision is made. Bad things can happen when a good decision is communicated poorly. Listen in and learn how to properly communicate your decisions.

 

 

Chris Ruisi’s “Step Up and Play Big Moments” is all about personal and business success. Chris’s goal is to offer today’s entrepreneurs, CEO’s and business leader’s practical guidance, tips, strategies and tactics that work in today’s challenging business climate. Chris brings his practical and successful experience at senior level management and Board positions to help his listeners cut through the clutter to Step Up and Play Big. Also available on iTunes.

 

 

Don’t Get Too “Content” – It Can Be the Beginning of the End

Leaders who choose to “Step Up and Play Big” have two important and common characteristics. First, they regularly question the “status quo”. The second is that they recognize that their habits define them and, as such, they are always looking for ways to enhance existing habits and learn new ones to help them elevate their game. By striving to elevate their game, they are able to use their full capabilities and continue to move forward.

The reason that successful leaders challenge themselves to question the status quo and strive to keep moving forward, is that when one gets “content”, it’s a surefire way to put the brakes on any future success they might achieve. Why? Simple really: success is a dynamic concept and never a permanent destination or status. To properly maintain it, or build upon it, requires action.

When you achieve one level of success, it’s okay to celebrate what you’ve accomplished. In fact, I would urge you to do so! You’ve earned it; you worked hard to achieve it. However, some folks either keep on celebrating or decide that they can now “ease up.” When this happens, it’s just a matter of time before they lose their focus, purpose, passion, and drive – and that’s when the “beginning of the end” starts.

As I stated, success is never a “permanent” status. You work hard to achieve a certain level of success within your company, industry, or profession. Once you get to that level, you have to keep working hard or harder to stay at that level. Some folks think that they can stop doing the “things” that made them successful – like:

  • They stop reading or learning about their industry or company.
  • They allow their leadership skills to get stale.
  • They don’t think it’s necessary to plan as well as they did before.
  • They start to accept less from themselves and others.
  • Their communications get sloppy; they don’t pay as much attention to them now since they achieved their “goal”.

Leadership Quotes from Chris RuisiThe list of mistakes goes on and on – the end result is they lose their edge, and sadly, it’s a result of their own actions or lack thereof. They mistakenly think that they have nothing further to prove. After all, “they’ve made it!” Well, let me share with you the following: if you like the view from the top of the mountain, you have to work even harder to stay there! If you fall into the trap of getting too content, you better improve your listening skills to hear the footsteps of the next leader who is closing in on you to take that view from the top away from you!

So what can a leader do to avoid this “too content trap”? Here are some important leadership qualities to consider…

First, they must make certain that they have a vision for where they want to go. In addition, they have to update it based upon what has been achieved so that it is not only current, but also relevant. Addressing their vision is an excellent example of questioning the status quo.

Next, with an updated and relevant vision, they need to develop new plans to make the vision a reality. This means doing the same things they did that made them a success in the first place.

Finally, to keep themselves on a consistent learning curve, successful leaders are always looking for every opportunity to learn from their past experiences – both good ones and not so good ones, and to apply that knowledge to their current challenges. Every team – especially the champions – watches their game films to learn something about their performance. They then use that knowledge to prepare for their next game. The great teams are the ones who focus exclusively on learning what they need to do to get better.

Getting better is a constant goal of every successful leader. If you want to avoid falling into the trap of getting too content and resting on your past achievements, make “getting better” your driving purpose.

How to Know When You’re Not Having Fun as the Leader

Each of us in a leadership position get to carry the brunt of the problems and challenges we face every day. In most cases, we serve as the “buffer” between the problems and our teams. Once we have confronted the problem, we have to sift through the emotion and clutter that comes with it to determine what caused it and – more importantly – how to solve it while still doing everything else you’re supposed to do! Events like this are usually classified as “having a bad day”. Working through and managing bad days comes with the territory if you are a leader, but when the number of those bad days start to take place on an ever-increasing basis and the severity intensifies, you’re then experiencing days that “you don’t want to go to work”.

Leadership quote Chris Ruisi

However, as a good leader you pick yourself up and go to work on those days even though you really don’t want to be there. You fool yourself into thinking that “it’s what you have to do”. Now you’re no longer having fun and your day-to-day activities can be summarized by any one or all of the following:

  • there is never enough time; you feel your work is never done; you experience “endless days”.
  • you are easily distracted, frustrated, and agitated.
  • you are busy making no progress and you do not have a good sense of how you are doing.
  • you feel that you have no control over what the outcome will be.
  • everything seems harder to do and you are the only one doing it; you are putting too much pressure on yourself to get everything done.

If you’re experiencing any of these five symptoms (and hopefully only one, but more than likely you’re experiencing most of them), it’s time to come to a complete stop and put yourself in a time out! You need to give yourself some time to catch your breath and think about what you are doing versus what you “should” be doing. Why? Because if you don’t stop the madness, you’ll “burn out” physically and emotionally, and run yourself – and your business – into the ground permanently.

With the possibility of the demise of your business staring you in the face, you should consider taking all of these key steps:

  1. You need to have a clear direction of where you want to go. In other words, you need a vision. With a well-constructed vision, you not only have a direction, you have a purpose. With direction and purpose, you are better able to decide what you need to do and when to do.
  2. From your vision, you then need to put together a weekly plan – not just a “to do” list. Many over-worked leaders mistakenly think that managing their list is their salvation. Wrong! Managing their priorities is the goal. With a vision, direction and purpose it’s easier to regain control and work on the right things at the right time.
  3. Time to sharpen your delegation skills and start sharing the work that you’re doing with those on your team who have the skills and knowledge to perform the tasks correctly. If their skills are lacking, do two things. First give them smaller tasks of a larger project to work on. Smaller tasks minimize the risk of errors and mistakes. The second thing you need to do is to put training in place so that they acquire the right skills and knowledge so they can continue to take on more responsibility.
  4. Next, spend some time with your team to make sure that they understand their roles; what’s required; why they do what they do; where it fits in; and how they contribute to the company’s results. When your team understands the “why” of what they do, they have a purpose and structure. This will positively impact their motivation, engagement and performance.
  5. Lastly, once a week schedule a one-hour appointment with yourself. That’s right, just with you – no e-mails, phone calls, or distractions. During this “self-meeting” review your weekly plan and progress; make adjustments if needed and then spend some time on a task that only you can – and should – handle. Preferably, something that falls into the category of working “on” your business.

All of these steps are key parts of the plan you need to get you back in control – you know, to become a master of your circumstances as opposed to being a victim – unless you like not having fun. The choice is yours.